At the end of his first fashion show earlier this week, Tyler, The Creator grabbed the mic and explained that part of his motivation for putting the whole thing together was in response to being seen as uncool for “growing up as an inner city black kid [who] wasn’t the most masculine and liked pink.” In an interview with FADER today, he elaborated on these thoughts.
“The black community is very fixated on that hard masculinity, they always gotta be hard and fucking tough,” he said. “I was never really a tough guy, I don’t like sports, I have some feminine mannerisms. The reason why I was just saying that is because society always tries to box everything up, and you always have to be one way or another.” He concludes, “You don’t have to be the tough guy all the time.”
He explained that by freely expressing himself and living outside the box of what society normally expects from a black man, he hopes to soften those expectations and show kids they can do what they actually want to.
“[In] the black community, everything is sus or gay or ‘that’s not fucking hard,’ and we like face tats and gangbanging,” he says of the expectations put on him and his peers. “No, not everyone is like that. It’s kids who’s probably growing up and don’t know themselves yet or have the strongest self esteem so they’re trying to fit, and hopefully they can see people who are successful and not following the ‘always have to be masculine, threatening, and hard’ way of life.”
Tyler also took a moment to comment on the tragic shooting that took place in Orlando on the same night as his fashion show, explaining, “We literally got off stage, everyone in a good mood, I hadn’t checked my phone, we were ready to go eat, and that was literally all over everything. We were like, ‘What the fuck, that’s crazy.’ People caring about stupid shit man, like why do you care?” In typical Tyler fashion, he ended with, “But I’m trying to stay happy, stay positive. I hate watching the news.”
Check out the full stream of his fashion show (and post-show comments) below.